If You Want to Take Photos Out of the Airplane Window, Book the Window Seat

A viral TikTok just showcased yet another flier faux pas.

Airplane etiquette debates are common on social media, as fliers are quick to share bad experiences as well as the do's and don'ts of how to be respectful to your fellow passengers. From overhead bins to reclining seats, how to exit the plane to who gets to decide if the window shade is up or down, the internet, per usual, has a lot of opinions on how to act in the air. Now a new viral video is taking on another flier faux pas.

A short TikTok video posted this week by user sterlingsavannah is making the rounds (and raising a lot of opinions) about personal space on a flight. The video—which has been viewed over 3.5 million times and gotten over 225,000 likes—shows a woman sitting in a window seat as a man in the middle seat reaches directly over her and in front of her face to snap multiple photos from the plane window. Text over the video states "do people not know personal space…And that you can choose a window seat??"

This is clearly an invasion of personal space in any situation with anyone, but especially with a stranger. Add in the already cramped quarters of an airplane and this takes rudeness to the next level. You can see how uncomfortable the woman is from the start, yet her middle seat mate clearly can't read the room (or plane in this case) and realize how he is making her feel, as he is oblivious and continues to snap away on his phone while he encroaches on her space.

Many commenters on the video shared disbelief that someone would have the audacity to act like this on a flight. "I hope someone shows this to him and explains to him how this is crazy," said TikTok user Sarcastic Kitty. Others shared their own similar experiences on flights, including a user named Mandy who said "one time I was going to the bathroom and the guy told me to climb over him."

Many commenters suggested speaking up and putting the responsibility on the woman to tell her seatmate to stop. But commenter Helen Karas made an important point by saying "the comment section is a bunch of people not understanding the freeze response." Sure, it's great if you can stand up to someone and tell them they are making you uncomfortable, but not everyone feels OK doing that and maybe we could redirect that expectation toward the person being rude instead?

While flying, if you want to snap a pic out the window or need to move around or past your fellow passenger, a simple polite "excuse me" and asking someone's permission to move into their personal space is an easy method to not only keep the peace but not end up looking like a jerk on the internet. It's great to share excitement while traveling, just not at the expense of making other people uncomfortable.

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Lisa White is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Instagram.